A federal court in New York ruled last week that an intern at a TV broadcasting company could not sue for workplace sexual harassment under New York state and city laws because she was not paid and therefore not an employee. See Wang v. Phoenix Satellite Television. The intern alleged that the broadcaster’s Washington, DC bureau chief hugged her, tried to kiss her and “squeezed her buttocks with his left hand.” District Judge Kevin Castel ruled that the intern can’t assert a sexual harassment claim because, as an unpaid intern, she didn’t have the status of an employee. In his opinion, he wrote, “It is uncontested that Wang received no remuneration for her services….New York City’s Human Rights Law’s protection of employees does not extend to unpaid interns.”
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